January 2017 Gathering Notes

Performers of the January 2017 Gathering, Left to Right:
Chris Figland, Angus Martin, Siddharth Bhaskar, Chris Eller, Mary Jean Holwager

The Bloomington Pipers’ Society kicked off the new year with a new space at St. Thomas Lutheran Church, and with a bit of Irish piping and whistle! Our featured performer was Siddharth Bhaskar, uilleann piper and tin whistle player, filled out by some smallpipes by Angus Martin, highland pipes by Chris Eller, and a practice chanter demonstration by Chris Figland, Chris Eller, Angus Martin, and Mary Jean Holwager.

Our local piper Angus Martin began the evening’s music with several sets on his set of Nate Banton smallpipes. He played first a medley of tunes modeled on the classic pipe band medley format; hornpipe, strathspeys, reels, slow air, and jig. From there he played a favorite waltz and jigs set of his featuring the tunes Sailing Solo on the Minnow, The Kitchenmaid, and Geese in the Bog. After taking some questions about the instrument, he performer by request the Cabar Feidh march followed by the strathspey version of the same tune.

Siddharth Bhaskar on the Uilleann pipes

Angus was followed by piper Chris Eller who performed on the highland pipes a set made up of a 3/4 March and Slow Air. The tunes were I See Mull and The Skye Boat Song. Chris took questions about the instrument, as we had a large number of newcomers at our gathering! He received questions ranging from the instrument’s history to its construction.

The evening’s featured performer followed Chris. Siddharth alternated sets between the Uilleann pipes and the Irish tin whistle. Siddharth performed sets from different regional styles in Ireland, from the west coast to the northern coasts near Scotland. To the delight of experienced pipers and newcoming audience members, he detailed the features of the instrument, and discussed with members of the audience the differences between the other two types of bagpipes seen throughout the evening. He performed hornpipes, airs, slip jigs, hop jigs, highlands, and reels. After the main portion of the evening, he showed piper Angus Martin the instrument, and had him try out jumping up to the second octave, which Angus’ native instrument is unable to do.

The evening concluded with a performance by four of the Society’s highland pipers demonstrating on practice chanter the tune Green Hills of Tyrol together.

The Society meets again at St. Thomas Lutheran Church on February 26, 2017.

Chris Eller on the Great Highland Bagpipe

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